United States Navy Band (Washington, DC); Capt. Brian O. Walden (conductor) Taken from the Navy Band album Sea Interludes (track 7).
Apparition de l'Eglise eternelle (Apparition of the Eternal Church) is, by any standard, one of the most extraordinary and powerful pieces ever written. For proof, look no further than Paul Festa's 2006 documentary, a film consisting almost entirely of various people’s reaction to hearing it for the first time. Written for solo organ at the age of 24, it is meant to approximate a fleeting glimpse at Divinity itself and the accompanying terror and ecstasy such an encounter would produce. In David Miller's textually rich arrangement, one can easily hear what Messiaen referred to, somewhat paradoxically, as "the hammer blows of grace."